Lithium, a silvery metal so lightweight it floats on water, has been dubbed “white gold.” The element is key to the future of the automobile industry, increasingly powered by powerful batteries that require the metal, and meeting climate deadlines to decarbonize the global economy.
After decades relying on imports, countries are now scrambling to secure their own domestic supplies of the crucial ingredient, also used in ceramics, glass, lubricants, and polymers.
“Lithium supply security has become a top priority for technology companies in the United States and Asia,” according to the US Geological Survey (USGS) (pdf). The US Interior Department listed lithium as a critical mineral in 2018, fast-tracking mine permits.
South America still supplies most of the world’s lithium (93% of US imports come from Argentina and Chile).
The US has just one opening lithium mine (pdf) located in Nevada, and a single facility to recycle lithium-ion vehicle batteries in Ohio, according to the US Geological Survey
For the rest of this article: https://qz.com/1975325/electric-cars-are-fueling-the-uss-lithium-mining-boom/